White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus Virginianus)

Written by: Sean Bryan, Jessie Harris, Narmeen Nweisser and Frank Zacharias

Management Plan

This plan involves two methods of management to eradicate White-tailed Deer in urban settings. The first method of management will be to sterilize the female deer in and around the urban settings. This will cause some problems due to the fact that this method causes young bucks (male deer) to enter the area trying to mate more with the females that are in heat. (Figura, 2014). We have decided to not use of abortifacients or other methods to prevent the female deer from going into estrus because we believe this will cause more stress on the deer that already have a lot to deal with. So to solve that problem we will also open the hunting season for a longer period of time. The management plan needs help from all aspects of the community from hunters, to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNRF), and even people in the community for monitoring. The hunters will be able to hunt for longer, potentially having more bonding time with people they love. The hunting will not be done in urban settings because of the fact that you can shoot a gun in urban settings. The deer will be hunted just on the outskirts of the urban setting making it hard for the males to enter the urban areas. This also allows them to be able to feed themselves and their families with the meat. For those reasons, we decided that having the hunting season open longer will not only help with our management strategy but also help with community connections. We also understand that some people in the community don’t agree with the method of hunting so instead of just opening the hunting season as a means of control can have a lot of deer killed. Therefore we will take a more ethical approach for closer to the urban area by using the sterilizing method. Monitoring of the populations of male and female deer will contribute to the success of this project and knowing if it will work.

Legal Factors

The management strategies that were chosen for this project will require a few different pieces a legislation and permits to be obtained to complete the work. For the deer season to be open longer we will need to be in close contact with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. The MNRF will have to be contacted to have the hunting season extended. This will require a permit for within the boundaries of the urban area. This is done this way because there is no need to change the whole provinces’ hunting season just for a selected area. The MNRF will then come to a decision on whether or not to open the season longer [JF1] or not as part of the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act. The MNRF will also be in contact for permits required to do the sterilizing of the deer. The permit will give us a set amount of deer that can be sterilized but will also indicate what training the people would need. This will require monitoring before the decision is made so the MNFR has all the proper data they need for their decision. This means there are legal implications from the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act which is at the provincial level (Ontario Government, 2016).

Challenges & Solutions

Some of the things we will encounter are legal challenges, community members not being okay with the new hunting laws and the male deer population increase. The legal encounters will be a challenge as they may be time-consuming and expensive to publish and figure out. We plan to solve that problem by making sure that the project is organized and all information is complete as fast and proper as possible. The MNRF may want a lot of research done on their habitats in and around the community which can be costly and also time-consuming. With the help of the community and trail cameras, we can fulfill all the monitoring needs as long as the community is willing to participate. The MNRF will need to make sure that the drugs for sterilizing methods are safe and legal. This part can be costly as the right testing needs to be done on the drugs to make sure everything will run smooth. The proper training will have to be decided upon for the surgical method by the MNRF. There are many sterilizing processes that have been done around North America already which can help in the process of complete this challenge. Inside urban areas, there are a lot of people that may not agree with the hunting season change. The option to just shoot as many deer as possible is an option for removing them from urban settings. So the “meet halfway” we will not be killing all of the deer but making an educated decision on what the right number should be. The male deer population increases after sterilizing methods have been done with the tubal ligation method. This will be one of our hardest challenges to deal with, we predict. When the deer move into an area we will be asking the hunters to be enjoying the outdoors more by having a longer season open. This problem can also be solved by having research done on how quick the male deer enter the area after sterilizing and then we can have the season start or continue from there.

Conclusion

By choosing both methods of non-lethal and lethal are what’s going to make this project succeed. If we only have the choice of the sterilizing methods we would not have solved our problem due to the research coming out of Cornell University saying that having the female deer sterile makes the young buck more attracted to them causing an increase in deer population. But also just killing all the deer would not be the best option as the conservation of the deer are still a very important part of this project to continue to have bonding time with family or friends while hunting. Some permits will need to be acquired for this project to be complete. This will be a costly project but the jobs and education that will be created through this project will be a great success.

References

Figura, D. (2014). Cornell University culls and studies its deer herd on campus using archers and ‘trap and bolt” method. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from http://www.syracuse.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2014/08/cornell_universityh_culls_its_deer_herd_using_archers_and_trap_and_bolt_method.html

Ontario Government. (2016). Ontario Hunting Regulations Summary. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from https://www.ontario.ca/document/ontario-hunting- regulations-summary

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